Irish to update waste regulations

The Irish government has announced plans to review its Waste Permit and Waste Collection Permit regulations to address what it sees as the need to modernize existing legislation and cut red tape.

On Tuesday, July 5 Dick Roche TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government launched the review saying: "time has moved on since the original waste permit regime was first introduced in 1998 and as such there is a need to update the regulations to take into account our experience to date."

Full details of the proposed amendments can be found on the department's website but major changes include:

  • Waste Permits will be renamed Waste Facility Permits to clear up confusion with Waste Collection Permits.

  • More types of facility will now need permits, including those used for the recovery of Waste Electronic & Electronic Goods (WEEE), treatment of contaminated soils, recovery of dredge spoil, recovery of construction and demolition waste or for waste transfer.

  • Local authorities will be legally obliged to provide a good standard of service to applicants, with nationally-set deadlines requiring them to process applications within 12 weeks of receipt.

  • With the new responsibilities come new powers, and local authorities will be able to revoke or suspend collection permits if they think operators are failing in their duties.

    The department has given assurances the consultation process will be the widest possible and will include elected members of local authorities and the European Commission.

    Comments and observations from the public and industry must be submitted by September 30, 2005.

    By Sam Bond

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